by J.D. Davidson
Legal sports betting is still more than six months away, but more than two-thirds of Ohio adults say they don’t plan to place any wagers when it becomes legal, according to a new survey.
Legal sports wagers can be placed Jan. 1, but the survey by BetOhio.com shows 21% of Ohio adults are very or somewhat likely to bet. The survey also showed potential preferred brands for those who expect to wager.
Ohio officially announced the Jan. 1 start date June 1 and began taking license applications June 15 and the first application window closes July 15. The announcement came six months after Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law that allows legal sports betting and sticks to the assumed timeline state lawmakers laid out during the legislative process.
According to the survey, 9% of Ohio adults already bet on sports, either through retail, offshore or in other legal states. It showed more than half of those, 57%, are expected to bet at least weekly when it becomes legal in the state, while 19% expect to bet monthly.
Out of that group, 45% said they prefer DraftKings and 38% prefer FanDuel as betting options.
The state’s law creates three types of gaming licenses that last for five years and goes into effect Jan. 1.
The licenses include those for mobile apps, brick-and-mortar facilities and kiosks at certain lottery retail agents at bars and taverns across the state.
The commission will open its first application window for all licenses June 15 and close July 15. A second window opens July 15 and lasts until Aug. 15. The timeline includes dates for compliance documents and employee applications.
All equipment must be ready for commission verification by Dec. 1.
Ohio’s process from passage to launch is one of the longest among any state with legalized sports betting, and industry group PlayOhio estimated the state could lose $130 million a week by bypassing the majority of the NFL season. That could add up to more than $1 billion by the end of the year.
The group pointed to both the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals as among the top-11 favorites to win the Super Bowl, and the Jan. 1 start date would force bettors to miss the rivalry game Dec. 11.
In addition to college and NFL football, Ohio misses the Major League baseball playoffs, the NBA and NHL seasons opening, men’s college basketball season opening, the World Cup, and the Ohio State-Michigan game Nov. 26.
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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. Davidson is regional editor for The Center Square.